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00:30:00

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Walker 7, Realtors 3, Bic 2, David Chu 2, Mccarthy 2, John Malmed 2, The Commission 1, Lee 1, Expirations 1, Looking 1, Carl 1, San Francisco 1, Puc 1, Midstream 1, Diane Feinstein 1, John 1, Whitling 1, Rob Peter 1, Mr. Malmed 1, City 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    October 6, 2012
    3:00 - 3:30am PDT  

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>> it's kind of relevant, but today between 1:00 and 4:00 at the special joint meeting of the access committee [speaker not understood] 2 001, there is going to be a meeting there between 1:00 and 4:00. at 1600. >> second floor? >> yes. it's part of my announcements there. >> inspector? >> wanted to let you know that that meeting is specifically for the development of language around touch screen control panels for elevators. it doesn't have to do specifically with small businesses and cats, okay. that's what it is. >> okay. thank you. >> commissioners, is there any
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more comments on this item? seeing none. >> any public comment on item number 4? good morning, commissioners, henry [speaker not understood]. president of a small property owners in san francisco. so, i just wanted to let you know about the a-d-a, we will be having david chu coming to speak at our meeting unfortunately the next meeting coming up he can't meet it because the [speaker not understood] so he's going to miss that one. he will be coming after that. and one of the issues we're going to be talking about the s. a-d-a issue. i know a lot of small property owners weren't really aware of it. so, just wanted to let you all know we are working on that. it's true, a lot of the small businesses don't have any idea until somebody gets a lawsuit and [speaker not understood] the property owner a lot of times says, hey, you rented it, that's what it is.
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put a disclaimer in the rental agreement. the other hat i have is also president of the council of district of merchants. i'm trying to cover both bases. everybody is aware, david chu is working on this, we're moving ahead. there is legislation going ahead with diane feinstein with a-d-a. that should also help out for businesses making less than $3.5 million a year. so, things are happening. i just want to let you know about that. >> thank you. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. i'm carl. i just want to add kind of a moment that i received yesterday. i was in a little coffee shop on 18th street. its was the owner's last day. about five years ago he purchased this restaurant and he went to the city building
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inspectors. he looked it over. he remodeled a bathroom to make it handicap accessible but they forgot to mention a two-inch lip. so, a year ago he was sued. he had to sell his business [speaker not understood]. the sad part about it is his two little kids he's trying to support and a family. so, i just wanted to kind of let you know this is a personal matter for people. and anything that you can do to help the small businesses without deterring people that are handicapped, if it's your power, do so. thank you. >> thank you. good morning, commission, [speaker not understood], acting deputy director. as far as in-house cat training we were trying to get cat training for nearly eight months. the following year we had to get three vendors. we had two, but we need three for the controller [speaker not understood] to get three
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comparable bids because it is very expensive. we just recently got that and we should be getting approval in the near future for training for cats. we hope it will be within two months in the building department and it's going to be probably a four to five-day training class for the inspectors there. >> okay, there's no more comments on that. >> item number 5, discussion and possible action to amend building code table 1a through g, inspections surveys and reports to establish a premium report of residential record 3rp. >> good morning, commissioners. bill strong with legislative public affairs. this item came about because last march you approved some
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code changes around permit extensions and expirations as well as some updates on different fees. and in the course of working with the city attorney's office on this, we discovered a little bit after the fact that the online publisher had failed to have the correct dollar item due to the fee studied from three years ago for our three r reports. as you probably know, as has been posted on our website for quite sometime now, the fee for 3r report is 160 under the fee legislation was adopted by the board. for some reason the publisher had $100. so, this requires a certain amount of correction that we're in the process of doing and actually we've been working closely with john malmed and
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have some new legislation that the board will probably introduce next week to deal with all of these corrections, including that one. at the same time, we thought it an opportunity to offer a premium 3r service, which would mean that customers coming in who had an urgency similar to premium plan review could pay a little more and have the report generated in a shorter period of time. that, of course, is tied to staffing realities that we are still working on. so, this is a work in progress. it won't happen overnight, but that's what this item is about for your discussion today. >> is there a comment? >> obviously the 3r, has been
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kind of -- maybe this is directed at you [speaker not understood]. so, as far as i understand, you're correcting the language from 100 to 160, correct, that's what this is all about in front of us? >> that's one of the items, yes. that's one part of one of the fee tables in this legislation that is being introduced at the board. >> right. okay. so, and i think your comments are very relevant to the point that this is obviously a service that is kind of tied to the staffing level. i get these expedited fees and so on, but they really don't mean very much to me if we have to kind of rob peter to pay paul. and because i had more money in the bank to do it, r i get better service -- i want to kind of really be [speaker not understood] because that department is a very specialized department and, you know, as i had testimony here
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before after spending half a day there and a few other days there, i really see how well and how concentrated that work is and it takes a particular type of person to work there. and i understand how it is difficult sometimes to kind of staff up in that kind of department. so, i want to just go on the record a little bit. i'm all for this if you're willing to pay, but i don't want to see a situation where other workstations within that department suffer so that somebody can get expedited. so, i don't know if anybody wants to talk to that. >> [speaker not understood]. i appreciate your comments on the staffing and the ability to respond to the increasing numbers of records requests, whether they be 3r or not. we are trying to get down to the envy of five days. we currently are on eight days.
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we started on 15 days about a month ago. we met with the realtors, the board of realtors, talked to them. they were expressed interest in having an expedited 3r report process. when i asked them what does that mean to them in terms of numbers of days, they said five days. our nbo is five days also. so, assuming that after we get staff and we can bring it down, we will be able to meet our nbo with the, you know, with the regular process rather than going for the expedited. but because there are so many -- i don't want to say "so" but there are many fields that are going through, short sales that are going through with multi-million dollar cash deals. we felt that we needed to respond to this.
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and as you mentioned, it is dependent upon us being able to have the staff that can be assigned these duties and not negatively impact the rest of the work that they're doing. they're really working hard to try to bring things down and we're very appreciative of that. >> i think you said it there. they were at 15 days. we're down to 9 -- >> 8. >> which is in itself successful with the staffing levels and you're obviously day and night working on getting those positions filled which we don't need to get into. >> right. the other thing i wanted to say is that we're trying to see if there's anyway that we can make it easier for people to do the work. and i've been down there this week going, spending the afternoon today to try to sit with people and see if there's anything that we can provide
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them that in some way can help them. i mean, one of the big problems is that you can barely read the plan, and they're using magnifying glasses. so, if there's a way we can make -- improve the process, we're trying to help them do that. >> director? >> the answer to your question is you were about maybe everybody want to expedite the process and impact everybody. right now business as usual, not a lot of cash -- some cash deals, you know, [speaker not understood] the feeling is to get it done. what i'm thinking about, maybe only 10% request for total amount. then we will -- not everybody can request for it. we need to have a certain amount of percentage.
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we do approve by me or the [speaker not understood] level to make sure not everybody requests for that process. >> when we have the discussion with the realtors, they did say that it was the, you know, exception rather than the rule. but, you know, until we actually start the work, we won't be able to -- you know, we can set deadlines, but we have to, you know, look at how it's going and see whether it is 10% or we need to lower it and say -- because it seems like it's being over used or what. so, we're going to stay on top of that. >> commissioner walker? >> thank you for responding, because i know that the public has really asked us to hurry this process up. so, i had the same concerns as commissioner mccarthy, that not only might it affect other aspects of our delivery of service, but it sort of disadvantages people who may not be able to afford doing a
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premium. so, i just would like to go on record saying i would rather that we actually increase effective service for everybody. and then if we find that there is a need for expedition beyond that, that we do it because it sounds to me like five days was expedited services compared to what we did. so, it might be unnecessary if we really focus our attention on providing delivery of faster service to everybody. >> that's what we're doing. we're really trying to figure out how to do that given the volume that we receive [inaudible]. >> exactly. it may be hard to draw a line as to who we can expedite and who we cannot. >> commissioner lee. >> i share the same point of view. i mean, i would hate to think that multi-million dollar properties would get faster service than the average person that has 300, $400,000 property
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may not. i think there is an imbalance there. my question is what is the fee difference for the expedited service? did i miss that? >> so, the regular fee is $160 and we are proposing to charge the 160 plus $2 of the administrative fee that's established within the ordinance. what we're doing is -- and that's $104 -- two-hour, i'm not sure what i said. thank you, john. essentially what we have in there is that it will be the fee for a three-hour report plus two hours of administrative fee. >> so, we're looking at 160 plus 2 times 100? >> yeah. it's 208. >> so, it essentially doubles the cost of what it is now,
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okay. >> that's it? >> the other thing we didn't mention in here, other changes in the ordinance was that we re-looked at the reproduction fees that we were charging. and what the state fee and the local -- the state law and the local code says. and essentially, you cannot charge for labor. so, we re-looked at the fees that we were charging to make sure that they were in line with what is required. and as much as that's not reflective of what was in the fee study, we have to do that in order to comply with rules and regulations. >> i have a follow-up question now that i think about it. do we have a back-up plan if everybody decided to have the expedited service?
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>> they would -- the director said what we were going to do is say that only 10% of the fees. so, it 's first come first served and it has a ceiling. * >> okay. >> 10% per month? >> no, 10% -- the total received that day. per month? per month. >> so, there's a limit per month. so, after that if we limit it to 100, and you're 101st, we say sorry, we can't offer it to you any more. >> how do you know before the fact? how do you know how many you get in a month to say yes or no? i mean, it's -- >> we know the average. we track what we get, and we can look at the, you know, we can calculate it that way. as i said before, we are really hoping we can get down to five
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days to satisfy everybody's needs and we wouldn't trigger this fee. and we have some -- you know, there are challenges, as you know, on hiring the staff and i'll mention that later on. however, we are close to even having a list of the [speaker not understood] and then we can do the canvassing and the recruitment. so, we are hoping that we will get the staff on board, but then there is the training. and i sat down there, and knowing what i know from the last several years on how to read the screens and knowing how the system works and knowing how the various databases and having the detailed instructions in front of me, it is very complicated, and it will take some training of staff unless it's people
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that have come and grown up in the system. so, we'll try to make sure that we train people quickly and efficiently and effectively. >> okay. is there any more questions? no? once again, thanks. the commission appreciates your reaction to the questions like commissioner walker said. good. if there's no more, public comment i guess? >> public comment on item number 5? spencer gash, city building inspector for 22 years. so, let me get this straight. you're going to allow rich peep to pay more money to go to the front of the pack. not only rich people, but rich people who we determine is allow today do this. has the city attorney signed off on this? mr. malmed, have you signed off on this? no answer, i assume not. years ago these sort of activities were prohibited with the city attorney when rich people get special treatment.
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i believe that would still be the case unless the laws have changed. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. seeing none. >> is there going to be a motion, any action on this? >> there's no action required. >> okay. we're on to item number 6, discussion of possible action on the framework for the hiring of permanent director for the department. >> okay. if i may, i'd like to kind of open up to the commissioners here to pretty much have every commissioner weigh in on this. i'm sure we all would like to understand -- for me personally, if i may fast track, i'd like to understand the past and how we did this in the past. i've been asking questions all week on how the procedure is, you know, and i've been getting good answers back. so, but if i may, if i could
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get john to interject. we had a quick conversation during the week. the first thing is i wanted the commissioners to understand what we talk about in public when it comes to this and what the closed sessions will consist of. and also maybe if you could talk, it would be best if you could -- remember, kind of outline to the commission what his memory was of how this proceeded the last time when we were looking for a new direct r for the department. >> john malmed from the city attorney's office. the laws regarding closed session set up pretty limited circumstances when the commission can meet in closed session and what is appropriate to discuss during that time. there is something that's referred to as the personnel exception, which is an opportunity to go into closed
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session to discuss certain things regarding personnel, primarily given the building inspection commission's authority that regards the hiring and/or termination of the director of dbi and the commission secretary. so, those are authority that you've been granted under the charter. and for the most part, the personnel exception gives you the opportunity to meet in closed session to discuss certain things regarding the hiring or termination as well as the valuations of those two different staff. but as i said initially, the ability to meet in closed session is limited. so, there's many things that you can't discuss regarding the
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director's position. one of them, for example, are the various qualifications that are appropriate for a director. there are salary issues. there are other things that can only be discussed by the commission in an open session. if that's something that you would like to do. so, the president felt that it would be appropriate to put on today's agenda the -- a discussion of the framework regarding the hiring process for a director because it is really much more of a open-ended discussion about the process, the search process, how to identify qualifications, how you narrow the field, all these things are not appropriate in a closed session. it's my understanding from the last time that you hired a director -- and i think i came
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on midstream as the city attorney representing the bic. so, commissioner walker may have some more to add to this. but it was my understanding that the commission -- commissioner walker was the president of the commission at the time. she obtained authority from the bic. i don't know if it was formal or it was just the consensus, that she would take the helm in terms of a director search. she worked with i believe three other department heads within the city, the director of public works, the chief administrative officer, and i believe the general manager of the puc. >> controller. >> yes, it was the same person. >> same person, different position, yes. >> so, president walker worked with those three city staff to
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develop the protocols, the search process. i think you hired or worked with a search firm. sent out solicitations, received qualifications and applications from candidates. and then i believe that group narrowed the field down to half a dozen potential candidates. at that point the building inspection commission met in closed session and interviewed each of the candidates from this narrowed field. the interviews were held off-site. its was properly noticed in accordance with all the various rules. they were held at different times, so, the different candidates who you're interviewing didn't know who else was being interviewed.
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and after all the candidates were interviewed, i believe there was at least one or more additional closed sessions where the commission made its decision on a particular candidate. and then there was an offer process made and an acceptance of that. so, that's the way the process was conducted last time. there is nothing in your building inspection commission rules that has a set process. so, the commission is free to either continue that similar process or create -- craft its own. >> okay, commissioners. i'll open this up. thank you, city attorney, for that. that was really helpful because as the president i want the past best practices. with that i'd like to open it and get the other commissioners and take it from there. commissioner walker. >> yes, i'd like to add to some of the process.
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we decided as a group on which search firm. there were a couple that we were being -- that applied to be considered, and that was a decision made by the entire commission. the description of the job and our expectations were also crafted by the commission entirely. and the search firm before doing anything, they met for long periods of time with the individual commissioners to get every individual commissioner's criteria, which was very helpful in whitling down the group of people that would be interviewed. * whittling when this happened, i think that it was important to i think the entire commission, and certainly to me, that we actually had some other
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department heads who could -- who worked with the department on a regular basis and could offer advisement. they also sat in on the interviews. they were invited to sit in, though they don't have a vote. but it was an effort to try and make sure we were addressing concerns that we may not be aware of as far as dealing just with our department. so, it was a very helpful part of including those department heads that on a regular basis work with our department. but that was helpful. it was helpful to the commission at the time, i think, and i think that the process for the most part worked really well because everybody had equal input. the process itself was one that was approved by the entire commission, so. >> commissioner mar. >> so, i want to thank president mccarthy for putting this on the agenda.
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my main concern is that, at least for the search, it's an open process. and as commissioner walker says, work with other departments. i think we could also work with human resources because i feel other executive positions and other departments have recently -- have actually recently gone out. we could look at which firms they used most recently. so, we could have a very open process, at least on the search, and have all the commissioners weigh in [speaker not understood]. that's my main concern. >> wow, is there any more discussion before i get into my monologue here? i'm sure i'll probably be asking questions we'll take from there. thank you, commissioner lee.
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>> since you're asking for opinions. i was on that commission as well with commissioner walker. i'm just thinking about the situation now with our department versus what it was i guess six years ago or something like that. the situation may be a little different and i'm not opposed to following that process, but i seem to recall it was a long process. and there are ways where we can shorten it, i think, that may be helpful. just because our department's situation now is not the same as it was six years ago where we were starting fresh, so to speak. so, that's my only opinion at this point.